I am not Charlie

January 10, 2015 · Filed Under Political · Comment 

As someone who publishes controversial material, and has even been threatened for doing it, I was really quite shocked and saddened by the events in France the last few days.

Of course violence and threats of violence are always wrong.  It’s also very important to stand up for freedom of speech, and the free expression of ideas and opinions.

At the same time, together with free speech comes responsibility for self restraint.  We all know for example that showing hate for Jews, or blacks, eastern Europeans or promoting Nazism, is nearly universally unacceptable, even illegal in many countries.  We sometimes forget that Muslims are people too, and deserve the same respect as everyone else.  No one benefits by the frequent publishing of racial or religious slurs, and the sort of anger these can generate puts us all at risk.

Abbie Hoffman once said:

Free speech is the right to shout “Theater!” in a crowded fire.

Free speech can’t always be about pushing every boundary possible.  Free speech has to be about criticizing ideas, politicians, corporations or societies at large, but not attacking ethnic or religious groups.  It’s up to all of us as a society to enforce this, and not to fan the flames of intolerance.

My thoughts are fully with the people of Charlie Hebdo, their families and friends, the other journalists and political satirists, that put their own safety on the line in their jobs, but not the intolerance that lies behind them.

Light Bulb Review

January 9, 2015 · Filed Under Pat 'n' Steph, Political, Science · Comment 

I guess some of us knew it would happen eventually, but normal light bulbs are legal once again in Europe, and becoming more available.  I just bought some the other day from De Gloeilampen Winkel here in the Netherlands, and I thought I would write a review.  I paid €1,65 per bulb, with a minimum purchase of 10 per wattage, and free shipping over €50.  I hope they come down in price soon!

bulb1

There is an exemption in the EU light bulb ban for ‘rough service lamps’, bulbs built to operate while vibrating.  This is a Reinforced Construction or RC lamp.  Some of the bulbs are labelled that they are intended for a marine environment.  None of them have a brand name.

Here’s a closer view of the specifications.

 

bulb4

Notice they are rated for 3000 hours, which is 3 times longer than the bulbs commonly available here just before the ban came into force.  This makes the price a little more palatable, and similar to the price per hour of pre-ban bulbs.

bulb2

Manufacturer Energy Rating: E

bulb3

Real Life Energy Rating:  A++

  • Since mostly the bulbs are to be operated in a space warmed by central heating, the bulbs are 100% efficient.  Energy is given off in the form of light and heat, and any heat given off reduces the load on the central heating by a like amount.
  • No energy needed for recycling, and it’s not necessary to take them to a recycling center — possibly even by car.  Bulbs can be discarded in normal household waste.
  • Bulbs can be manufactured locally, and it’s not necessary to transport them from China.
  • Manufacturing process is simpler and less energy intensive than ‘low energy bulbs’.
  • Longer life means less frequent replacements are needed.

Functionality

It’s a light bulb, and does everything you might expect a light bulb to do.

Long Life

Historically, manufacturers of light bulbs have had the problem that long life bulbs mean loss of profit.  This is because they stay in service too long and consumers don’t need to keep rebuying them.  Singer, the sewing machine company had a similar problem, because the products they built were too reliable.  In the case of Singer, they had to buy back some of their older machines, so consumers would have to buy some of the newer less reliable ones.

In the case of light bulbs, manufacturers have been building them to glow brighter, so they would burn out faster.  This is the motivation for the energy efficient bulbs, followed by the complete ban.

Leading up to the ban 1000 hour bulbs were common, and these are 3000 hour bulbs.  10.000-20.000 hour bulbs are very feasible, and 100.000 hour bulbs are not out of the question.  As consumers, this is what we want and should look for.  They should not necessarily cost more.

Some Final Comments

  • No flickering, slow warm up or fading with age.
  • Fully dimmable
  • No toxic components
  • Pleasant light spectrum
  • This bulb was not labelled with country of origin.  Research your bulbs and buy locally!  Unlabelled should be assumed to be from China.
  • These bulbs are rated for 235v, but the power in Europe is 230v.  This probably means the bulbs will withstand voltage spikes better, have a longer life, but also probably give off slightly less than the rated number of lumens.  I consider this a good thing.
  • It’s obvious in other ways the consumer energy ratings are intended to mislead consumers.  For example here, diesel cars often get lower ratings, even though they get better mileage and have lower carbon emissions.  Electric cars often get better ratings, even though energy used in manufacture and disposal are much higher.  Use your head instead of trusting energy ratings!

Vandana Shiva’s 2015 New Year Message

We Are All Seeds

EU Commission Abandons Current EU Seed Law Proposal

December 18, 2014 · Filed Under EU Seed Legislation · Comment 

The EU Commission announced yesterday their intention to abandon the proposed new seed law regulation. This means short of a specific request from the EU Parliament for a return of the proposal, it’s unlikely to resurface.  This leaves some uncertainty, but it seems likely the proposed regulation is now dead.  Here is the announcement and Annex II, the so-called ‘kill list’.

The EU Commission probably now has to come up with another proposal.  For the time being, it leaves the existing EU seed law directives unchanged.  Since there is pressure for returning decision making to national governments, and reducing administrative burden, there is hope that a new proposal will go much further towards a straightforward repeal of existing seed laws rather than just a simple rebranding and otherwise strengthening of industry control.

Parliament

The EU Commission informally consulted the Parliament before this decision was taken.  The answer back was very unclear, and did not indicate a clear preference one way or another.  Some independent and informal polling of MEPs suggests quite a lot of disagreement between the different factions.  The chances are it will be more of a fight to stop the proposal the next time around, and the situation will be more complicated.

Paquebot 2015 Tomato List

December 4, 2014 · Filed Under Seed Saving, Seeds · Comment 

Tomatoes!

Paquebot recently asked me to update the list of tomatoes he’s offering from what I posted here for him 2 years ago.

Paquebot lives in Wisconsin, USA. He’s offering hundreds of tomatoes, organized into the year grown, giving an indication of the age of the seeds. Tomato seed are normally good for about 10 years, sometimes more, so age isn’t an issue if you plant them within the next couple of years.

If you’re interested in anything here, send me an email and I’ll forward it to him.

2013-14 seeds
African Brown
Alter Kommunist
Amish Potato Leaf
Amursky Tiger
Amuuri Kiirevalmiv
Angora Orange
Aurora de Tigenesti
Big Cheef
Big Pink
Big Ray’s Argentine Paste
Black Icicle
Black Roma
Black Yum Yum
Blonde Boar
Blondkopfchen
Boudyo
Brandywine From Croatia
Brazilian Paste
Brin de Muguet
Bulgarian Red Giant
Buzau 22
C1943
Campbell’s
Campbell 19
Campbell 22
Campbell 24
Campbell 31
Campbell 33
Campbell 37
Campbell 119
Campbell 222
Campbell 1138
Campbell 1327
Canabec Rose
Captain Lucky
Champ Martin
Charlie’s Giant Italian Paste
Cherry Brandywine
Church
Cooper’s Special
Costa Rica
Crnkovic Gold
Cynthia’s Black Oxheart
Da Chilo
Daho
De Barao Zolotoy
Dester
Djena Lee’s Golden Girl
Earl’s Faux
Early Crop
Early Harvest
Emerald Apple
Frank’s Large Red
Fregat
G10132
German
Gezahnte
Giant Bear Claw
Giant Honey
Giant Willie
Golden Cherokee
Gail’s Sweet Plum
Grandpa Cock’s Plum
Great Divide
Haley’s Purple Comet
Heinz 1409
Heinz 1630
Heinz 2990
Huang Se Cheh
Ideal
Illini Gold
Indiana Baltimore
Ispolin
Italian Gold
Jerusalem
Jitka
Juhas
Jujube
Khirhiv
King of Siberia
Komohana
Large Raste
Lee’s Sweet
Lehrertomate
Lithuanian Crested Pink
Livingston’s Golden Queen
Livingston’s Main Crop Pink
Lollipop
McKinley
Marizol Magic
Marmande Garnier Rouge
Moment
Negro de Silex
New Zealand Paste
Old Macedonian
Olena Ukrainian
Orange Icicle
Orenburg Giant
Osmala
Pearly Pink
Peppermint
Pink Bumblebee
Pink Shipper
Plaisir Paradisiaque
Poljarnik
Power’s Heirloom
Pumpkin
Purple Riders
Purple Smudge
Rjabchik
Romanian Cow’s Tit
Romanian Oxheart
Rose d’Eauze
Rozovoi Mod
Russian Big Roma
Sahalin
SC2121
Schiavone Italian Paste
Strawberry
Summer Sunrise
Tegucigulpa
Terma
Tomadose Des Comores
Vesuvio
Yellow Ruffled
Zaitska
Zemljak

2012 Seeds
Annie
Belize Pink Heart
Bianca Cherry
Bing Cherry
Chello
Christmas Grapes
Box Car Willie
Campbell 54
Campbell 135
Campbell 146
Caspian Pink
Charlie’s Green
Dalmatiner
Dancing With Smurfs
Flame
Franchi Giant Pear
German Lunchbox
Gift From The Woodlands
Golden Ponderosa
Green Castle
Green Sleeves
Halliday’s Mortgage Lifter
Homestead
Kumato
Lincoln Adams
Livingston’s Perfection
Malachite Box
Middlefield Amish Paste
Midnight in Moscow
Mobil
Mortgage Lifter
Myth
Oakling
Opalka
OSU Blue
Out of the Blue
Paquebot Roma
Pastel Orange Heart
Perfect Storm
Pineapple
PSR 37
Rambling Stripes Red
Razzleberry Pink
Red Lightning
Red Rock
Russian Bull Heart
San Marzano Redorta
Shah Mikado
Sky Reacher
South American Banana
Sunset Red Horizon
Sweet Carneros Pink
Tennessee Black
Texas Star
Tsar Kolokol
Vintage Wine
Volovsko Srce Slovenian
Warren’s Yellow
Wisconsin 55
Wisconsin 55 Gold
Yellow Mortgage Lifter

2011 Seeds
1884
1884 Purple
ABC Potato Leaf (ch)
African Queen
Andes Horn
Anna Aasa, Red (ch)
Anna Aasa, Yellow (ch)
Ashleigh
Banana Legs
Believe It Or Not
Big Zebra
Brimmer
Buckbee’s New 50 Day
Cabin
Canadian Heart
Carol Chyko’s Big Paste
Count Banyani
Doubloon
Eli
Gildo Pietroboni
Green Ghost
Heinz 2653
Homer Fike’s Yellow Oxheart
Hunt’s Family Favorite
Libanaise des Montagnes
Magyar Piros Boker
Mirabell, Red
Mr. Tartar’s
New Yorker
Novosadski Jabucar
Orange Oxheart
Pomodoro di Albenga/Luguria
Red Barn
Rio Grande
Rostova
Sicilian Saucer
Skorospelka
Spark’s Yellow
Stardust Cherry (ch)
Strawberry Margarita
Sun Baby (ch)
Sylvan Gaume
Tangello
Tappy’s Heritage
Tarasenko 6
T.C. Jones
Terhune
Tlacolula
Tlacolula, Yellow
Veepick
White Rabbit (ch)
White Snowball
Wild Rose
Winsall
Winsall Gold

2010 seeds
Absinthe
Amazon Chocolate
Arkansas Traveller
Armenian
Aunt Ruby’s German Green Cherry
Babywine
Barnes Mountain Yellow
Basket Vee
Beaute Blanche de Canada
Belle Angevine
Big Rainbow
Black Crimson
Black Elephant
Black Ethiopian
Black Zebra
Bonne du Roussillon
Canestrino
Chadwick Cherry
Cherokee Chocolate
Chuda Rynka
Coburg
Copia
Coyotte
Creole
Early Chatham
Falcon
Fidelio
Gary O’Sena
German Gold
Goji Faranji
Goldman’s Italian American
Gold Nugget
Grandma Josie
Hong Yuen
Huayu
Indian Stripe
Jack White
Large Black & Red Boar
Large Red Cherry
Livingston’s Paragon
Marion
Mark Twain
Mazarini
Meme Beauce
Mule Team
Negro Azteca
Old Brooks
Peaches & Cream
Quingza
Radio
Red Target
Regina’s Yellow
Rita’s Black Pear
Rutgers
Serre Wonder
Shumway’s Sensation
Sioux
Southern Night
Sugar Plum
Super Sioux
Tangella
Tasmanian Yellow
Urbanite
Valiant
Velvet Red
Wagon Wheel
White Oxheart
Wisconsin Chief
Yellow Scotland
Zigan

2009 seeds
Aker’s West Virginia Black
Albany Georgia Heirloom
Amish Paste
Anna Hermann
Apelsin
Apricot Brandywine
Aunt Ruby’s German Green
Banjan Roomii
Belgian Heart
Big White Pink Stripes
Black Sea Man
Bosu
Buckeye Yellow
Carbon
Caro Rich
Chico III
Chocolate Cherry
Cour de Bou
Cow’s Tit
Eagle’s Beak
Endless Summer
Ernesto
Fantome de Laos
Giraffe
Guido
Guernsey Island
Hawaiian Orange Cherry
Hawaiian Pineapple
Hazelfield Farm Red
Heinz 1439
Japanese Black Triffle
Kardinal
Lagidny
Limmony
Marizol Purple
Mirabell, Yellow
Monkey Ass
Moya
Northern Crown
Northern Lights
Pantano Romanesco
Persimmon
Pink Ruffled
Portugal Monster
Principe Borghese
Riesentraube
Rozovii Giant
Sainte Lucie
Siberian
Silvery Fir Tree
Snowberry
Super Snow White
Ten Fingers of Naples
Tennessee Britches
The Orange
Tiny Tim
Togo Trefele
Turks Muts
Volgogradskij 5/95
Vorlon
West Virginia Pink Slicer
Willamette
Yellow 1884 Pinkheart

2008 seeds
Amish Red
Belarusan Heart
Besser
Black From Tula
Black Plum
Black Prince
Bloody Butcher
Boondocks
Borgio Cellano
Brianna
Cherokee Purple (PL)
Chianti Rose
Chocolate Stripes
Dinner Plate
Dr. Lyle
Dorothy’s Mennonite Beefsteak
Dorothy’s Mennonite Bicolor
Dorothy’s Mennonite Big Heart
Douce de Picardie (PL)
German Head
Giant Belgium
Giant Oxheart
Giant Roma
Giant Tree
Gigante Liscio
Golden Dwarf Champion
Hungarian Italian Paste
Japanese Oxheart
King Pineapple
Lancaster Pink
Large Pink Bulgarian
Legend
Long Keeper
Marglobe
Market Miracle
Mexico
Noire Russie
Old German
Preacher
Red Heart Yellow
Red Penna
Red Zebra
Russian Annie
Sandul Moldovan
Spoon
Super Beefsteak
Super Choice
Tater Kin
Taxi
Teton de Venus
Thessaloniki Oxheart
Valencia Pink
Watermelon Beefsteak
White Tomesol
Woodle Orange
Wuhib
Yamal

2007 seeds
Ace 55
Amana Orange
Ananas Noir
Aunt Madge’s
Aussie
Bear Claw
Beauty King
Berkeley Tie Dyed
Black Oxheart
Blue Beech
Boyarsky
Boy Boy
Brown Berry
Bull’s Heart
Burracker’s Favorite
Carmelo
Chateau Rose
Clover Trefle
Costoluto Fiorentino
Crimson Cushion
Crnkovic Jugoslavian
Danish Export
Des Andes Jaune
German Queen
Gogosha
Greater Baltimore
Gregori Altai
Grosse Cotelee
Hartman’s Yellow Gooseberry
Hog Heart
Howard German
Japanese Golden Pear
Julia Child
Kalman’s Hungarian
Korney’s Jelly Bean
Kosovo
Lemon Giant
Lumpy Red
Mandarine
Matt’s Wild Cherry
Mennonite Orange
Merveilles des Marches
Minibel
Nelson’s Golden Giant
Novikov Giant
Oaxacan Jewel
Olive Doree
Orange Giant
Paul Robeson
Peacevine Cherry
Pigmeo
Pipo
Pomodoro Palla di Fuoco
Pomodoro Red Pear
Raspberry Giant
Sausage
Scatalone
Selandia
Super Marmande
Tiger Tom
Tumbling Tom
UC82B
Ukrainian Pear
Wanda’s PT
Wes
Zebra
Zorica’s Croatian Bull Eye

2006 Seeds
Abraham Lincoln
Amish Salad
Amish Yellow
Aunt Gertie’s Gold
Aztec
Balkon Star
Black Cherry
Bradley
Cherry Roma
Cherokee Green
Cosmonaut Volkov
Croatian Heart
Douce de Picardie (RL)
Emeraude
Gardeners Delight
Garden Peach, Red
Garden Peach, Yellow
German Pink
Giant Syrian
Goose Creek
Greenbush Italian
Green Cherry
Green Giant
Green Zebra
Harvard Square
John Baer
Kristina Vatcheva
Leatha’s
Lemon Drop
Lithuanian
Long Tom
Marianna’s Conflict
Marianna’s Peace
Medford
Moby Grape
Mr. Fumo
Novogogoshary
Nyagous, Red
Oregon Spring
Perito Italian
Roman Candle
Segler
Sheyenne
Striped Cavern
Surender’s Indian Curry
Tigerella
Tommy Toes, Red
Tommy Toes, Yellow
Ugly Ripe
Voyage
West Virginia 63
Yellow Pear
Yoder’s German Yellow

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